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GM Names Suryadevara to Replace Stevens as CFO

Company now one of a few with women in CEO, CFO roles.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Dhivya Suryadevara becomes General Motors chief financial officer on Sept. 1.

General Motors Co. tapped 39-year-old Dhivya Suryadevara to take over one of the company’s senior executive positions, making the company part a select group with women in the role of CEO and CFO.

GM appointed Suryadevara as Chief Financial Officer, effective Sept. 1, 2018. She will report to Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, the company said.

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Suryadevara replaces Chuck Stevens as GM executive vice president and CFO, who has elected to retire after more than 40 years with the company, effective March 1, 2019. will remain with the company as an adviser until his retirement. (more…)

Hyundai Ready to Turn Kona EV Loose

New EV ready to compete with segment leaders.

by on Jun.13, 2018

Hyundai unveiled the all-electric version version of its Kona model at the NY Auto Show.

The battery-electric version of the Kona, Hyundai’s new crossover utility vehicle, will have a range of 250 miles when it goes on sale next fall.

Michael O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of corporate, product and digital planning, said during a media gathering in Detroit that the EV version of the Kona will have the range to match that of the Chevrolet Bolt, which is currently stated to be 238 miles.

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Hyundai is still in the planning stages of the launch of the Kona EV had has not yet decided whether to make it available in all 50 states. However, it will definitely be available in the 10 “Zev States” that follow the emissions standards set down by the State of California to encourage the use of electric vehicles. (more…)

VW Tagged With $1B Fine in Germany for Diesel Scandal

Penalty doesn't prevent civil lawsuits against maker.

by on Jun.13, 2018

VW's new CEO Herbert Diess recently noted the company would have to work hard to regain the public's trust.

Volkswagen AG’s diesel cheating scandal has resulted in the automaker writing another large check, $1 billion, for violating German emissions controls mandates.

The fine is just the latest in a litany of payouts related to the automaker’s attempts to circumvent emissions rules in the U.S. and other countries.

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The $1 billion fine by German authorities is one of the largest in the country’s history. However, its significantly less than what it agreed to in a U.S. plea agreement in January 2017 when VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties for installing illegal software in diesel engines.  (more…)

GM Increasing Bolt Production, Per Sustainability Report

The Orion plant will also produce Maven autonomous car.

by on Jun.13, 2018

Chevy Bolt production will be increased for this year and next due to rising demand for the EV.

General Motors Co. said will increase production of its Bolt battery-electric vehicle this year in response to global demand, according to 2017 sustainability report it released ahead of the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

The Bolt EV is built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit.

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GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra also said at least 20 new all-electric vehicles will launch globally by 2023, and that GM is partnering with utilities and governments to accelerate the growth of charging infrastructure as it looks to deliver on its vision of an “all-electric, emissions-free” future. “We believe the future is electric,” she said. (more…)

Polestar Will Pump Up New Volvo S60 Performance Model

Volvo takes performance to new level with modified S60 sedan.

by on Jun.13, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered gets unique Brembo brakes, among other modifications.

Few brands have done more to try to transform their image in recent years than Volvo, and the new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered sedan should continue shifting the Swedish marque in its new direction.

The latest version of the S60 not only puts more of a premium on sporty styling but backs it up with a 415-horsepower engine. But that’s no ordinary powerplant. No V-8s or turbo-sixes for this new Volvo. It’s a Polestar-modified version of the carmaker’s T8 plug-in hybrid, the top-performing version of its all-four-cylinder line-up.

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“The new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is an electrified car that does what you want it to,” said Volvo’s Senior Vice President of R&D Henrik Green. “All components have been fine-tuned to work together, delivering a responsive and exciting driver’s car.”

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GM Impacted Already by Rising Costs Due to Trump Tariffs

CEO Barra says no changes planned yet.

by on Jun.12, 2018

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra talks with media prior to the start of the 2018 General Motors annual shareholders meeting.

Tariffs on aluminum and steel are already beginning to push up costs General Motors top executive acknowledged before the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Detroit.

GM is beginning to see cost increases as a result of the tariffs imposed on aluminum and steel by the Trump administration, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marry Barra said Tuesday ahead of the company’s meeting.

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Barra told reporters that the trade negotiations are still incomplete so it is difficult to have a complete picture of the impact of tariffs will have on the General Motors or the automobile industry in general.  (more…)

UAW, FCA Head to Court to Retrieve Stolen Funds

Union pledges safeguards in place to prevent future problems.

by on Jun.12, 2018

UAW President Dennis Williams told members that new safeguards will prevent future attempts to steal from training funds.

The scandal-ridden UAW-Chrysler National Training Center has filed a civil lawsuit against a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. executive and the widow of United Auto Workers leader in a bid to claw back millions of dollars they embezzled from the NTC during the years.

Dennis Williams, the UAW outgoing president, also took aim at the theft of the joint funds during a speech on the opening day of the unions Constitution Convention.

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“To be clear: those who misallocated or misused training center funds betrayed our trust,” the retiring president told the 1,100 delegates gathered in Detroit “The UAW has zero tolerance for corruption, wrongdoing, at any level of this organization.” (more…)

Despite Concerns, Safety Probes, Musk Promise “Full Self-Driving” Autopilot to Debut in August

But CEO Musk doesn’t explain what that actually means.

by on Jun.12, 2018

According to a new tweet from Tesla CEO Musk, products like the new Model 3 may soon be updated with full "self-driving" capabilities.

Tesla Version 9, an apparently major software update to the operating system used for the automaker’s vehicles, will debut in August and, according to CEO Elon Musk, add “full sell-driving” capabilities to the controversial Autopilot system.

The news, announced in a Musk tweet late Monday, comes at a time when earlier versions of the semi-autonomous Autopilot system have come under intense scrutiny. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board has raised serious concerns about how it functioned in the moments leading up to a fatal crash of a Tesla Model X SUV in California earlier this year.

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But Musk has repeatedly downplayed such concerns — even pointing his finger at owners who may not have used Autopilot properly – while promising a far more advanced version of the system was coming. And in his late Monday tweet, Musk said, “to date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety (but) with V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features.”

(more…)

Trump Spat With Canada’s Trudeau May Kill NAFTA

Trump complains that Trudeau treated him disrespectfully at the G7.

by on Jun.11, 2018

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the recent G7 Summit.

A diplomatic dustup between the U.S. and Canada over the weekend could wind up killing the North American Free Trade Agreement, leaving the North American and global auto industry in a lurch.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico had been engaged in last ditch talks in effort to reach an agreement on a replacement for the existing trade agreement between the three countries, which the Trump administration has threatened to junk, claiming it was unfair to U.S. interests.

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As the negotiations carried on, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already warned that the time for reaching agreement that could clear U.S. Congress already passed. The chances of a meeting in the minds among representatives of the North American countries dimmed further after a blow-up, involving Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump. (more…)

Deal Done! Ford Buys Michigan Central Station

Automaker buys historic train station to anchor urban tech campus.

by on Jun.11, 2018

The 18-story Michigan Central Station was once the world's tallest railroad depot. Now it'll be the center of Ford's urban campus in Detroit.

Ford Motor Co.’s ongoing effort to attract young workers to the company by setting up its tech-based operations in Detroit took another step forward today when it announced it completed the purchase of the Michigan Central Station for an undisclosed sum.

The automaker has already set up some tech-oriented operations in the neighboring Corktown district and the acquisition of the train station, previously owned by the Moroun family, which also owns the Ambassdor Bridge, cements the company’s plans for the area.

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Company officials declined to comment on what it plans to use the building for, saying it would reveal all of that information on June 19. (more…)